Archives For Higher Ground

These are articles that relate to self-actualization, destiny, cause, calling or appeal to elements of the greater good.

The Stranded Whale

joe —  Sat 15-Nov-14 — 2 Comments
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Hello kitty whaleThe other day I was thinking about the whole premise of The Stranded Starfish – the idea that even though there may be a thousand stranded starfish on a beach, throwing back one may not change the beach landscape but it makes a big difference in the life of that one starfish. This is a great story if that creature is as small as a starfish. What if there were a thousand whales on that beach?

There is a homeless man in downtown Atlanta that I’ll call Mark. Mark is pretty consistent in his choice of spots near the North Avenue Marta station. Our son, Jared, is a student at Georgia Tech. Jared regularly passes by Mark and offers him a sandwich or whatever food he may have on him. Whenever Jared comes home for the weekend, he remembers to stuff his backpack with some food because he knows that he will see Mark when he gets off the train at Tech.

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Creating Heroes

joe —  Sat 1-Nov-14 — Leave a comment
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Lollipup GuildHalloween is a mixed bag for me. I’m not wild about the door to door stuff, but I absolutely love watching dads and moms turning their kids into superheroes. Seeing parents’ incredible passion for brainstorming creative ideas is only surpassed by the bright beam that comes from the smile of a proud Superman or Elsa.

It’s so much fun turning our kids into heroes. It’s a practice we do with great ease when it comes to our own kids, yet we seldom do it anywhere else. What if we were to try and make heroes of others at work?

What if we were to come to the office every single day with the intent of trying to help someone on their journey to superherodom? What if every conversation we held became an opportunity to lift someone else up? Could we truly be happy watching someone else succeed? Continue Reading…

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Two Simple Things

joe —  Sun 13-Apr-14 — Leave a comment
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How do you do a spaceIt’s ironic that the more we connect, the less we connect. We have built a technological juggernaut of interwoven personal network connections yet have lost some of the basic skills required to make these relationships meaningful. It’s the analog of knowing how to slam dunk a basketball but forgetting how to dribble.

I’m very thankful that I grew up in an era where the majority of our relationships were face-to-face. It taught me how to dribble. If I made someone feel bad, their facial expressions gave it away. When I did something nice for them, they said thank you. Our face and body were our emoticons – they were immediate and they were not optional. If I forgot to say thank you, it was noticed.

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Burn Bright, My Friend

joe —  Tue 24-Dec-13 — Leave a comment
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Star trek lightsEight years ago I made one of the best decisions of my life. That was the year I stopped putting up outdoor Christmas lights.

What first started out as a few multi-colored lights around our shrubs, progressed to lighting all the trees, the eaves, and visions of interactive audio and video dancing in my head. I had to – the neighbors were keeping up.

Every year I had to keep adding more lights so that I wasn’t the lamest looking display in the neighborhood. Each ensuing year became more stressful than the previous year. The setup time went from hours, to days, to weekends. The dread of having the post Christmas blues combined with the increasing manual labor required to take the decorations down became too much. For such a happy time of the year, I was miserable Continue Reading…

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A Geekful Thanksgiving

joe —  Wed 27-Nov-13 — Leave a comment
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AtonementIt’s that time of year when Facebook lights up with all of the things our friends are thankful for. Thanksgiving is wonderfully special in that it requires no religious affiliation and doesn’t exclude anyone based on what they believe. Regardless of how little one has, anyone can be thankful. The fact that you are reading this means you have a heartbeat, basic respiratory functions and an means for surfing the web.

But this year I am thankful for something most people take for granted – the undo key. Yep, good old Cmd-Z, or Ctrl-Z for you Windows users.
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I Knew That

joe —  Sat 29-Jun-13 — 4 Comments
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Dog and skunkThey say that with age comes wisdom. It seems as we get older we feel it is our duty to share our wisdom with everyone else. Unconvinced? Watch a Facebook conversation between a new parent and those that have already been there and done that. You can almost hear the parents with older children saying, “Bless you heart,” to the first timers.

There is something in the human psyche that feels the need to let others know how much we know. It seems to get worse as we get older and think that the wisdom fairy has somehow blessed us. I think true wisdom comes when we realize that not everyone needs or wants our sage advice. I’ve been wrestling with this problem quite a bit lately. Continue Reading…

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The Story in Our Eyes

joe —  Mon 24-Dec-12 — 1 Comment
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Deck the HallsI love a great story. Stories capture our senses. We see pictures painted that we’ve never experienced in person. We hear sounds that may have only passed our ears years ago. We smell a lingering memory of growing up. A great story excites the soul.

But not all stories capture our attention. It’s hard to relate to a story that we can’t picture ourselves somehow inserted into the scenery. I love the thought of my family dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh. It makes the story come to life. It’s why Disney scored with tales of princesses and sword battles. We all have a little Walter Mitty in us.

It’s also why the senseless death of 20 children and 6 adults in Newtown this month reverberates louder than the loss of 15,000 in a Bangladesh storm in 2007. Many of us hugged our kids extra hard the night of December 14th because we, but for a fleeting moment, dared to imagine ourselves in that situation. There but for the grace of God go I.

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